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Preface

An Interpretation of Life in its Relation to Health and Happiness

By Horatio W. Dresser

Ye taught my lips in a single speech
And a thousand silences.
—Emerson

To my father and mother,
Julius A. Dresser & Annetta G. Dresser

The essays published in this volume were read as lectures to small audiences in Boston during the season of 1893-94. Chapter II., "The Immanent God," was then issued in pamphlet form; and its cordial reception led to the revision and publication of the remaining papers in the series. The sale of the book has been most unexpected since its appearance in May, 1895. It has won its way, and appealed to those whom the author had no thought of reaching when he published it. Of these some have read it because its doctrine of the immanent Spirit interpreted their own deepest convictions. Others have found it acceptable so far as its theory is concerned, but have been unable to accept its application to health. Still another class have criticized it because of its silence in regard to the Christ. That it in no way aims to be a substitute for Christianity, but is thoroughly in harmony with the spirit of Jesus' teaching, surely no one can question who reads it sympathetically. So far as it advocates the new philosophy of health, it is based upon actual observation of just such practice in the care of the sick as it advises for all who are willing faithfully to apply its teaching. This line of thought originated more than a half-century ago in the researches of Dr. P. P. Quimby, of Belfast, ME., who devoted twenty-five years to its application and development.

With him the author's father and mother were for some time associated previous to his death in 1866; and without their long experience and teaching, of particular value in Chapters V. and VIII., this book would have been impossible. Nevertheless, the book is a sincere confession of the author's own experience in the search for truth. It aims to speak from soul to soul, to make vital in every moment of experience the sustaining presence of the Spirit. As such, it is offered fully as much for its philosophical as for its practical value. This phase of it has been somewhat neglected in the eagerness to accept or condemn its theory of health, while some have found it pan- theistic and mystical. In a recently published book, entitled "The Perfect Whole," dealing more especially with ethical and metaphysical questions, the author has endeavored to meet these objections, and to develop the doctrine of the unity of all things in one fundamental Spirit far more systematically than was possible in this volume. But the book has already found its place by the operation of that spiritual affinity which draws kindred souls together. If it shall continue to be helpful to those who seek daily light in the boundless realms of the soul, its further mission will be far greater as a clue to the Spirit than as a discussion of the more technical problems of philosophy.

H. W. D.
19 Blagden Street, Boston, Mass. October 1st, 1896.

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Horatio W. Dresser

  • Born on January 15th, 1866 in Yarmouth, Maine and died March 30th, 1954 in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Authored many books, including The Power of Silence, and published several magazines.
  • Earned his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1907
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